Jul 30, 2019

Trump meets with African American pastors amid accusations of racism

Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

President Trump broadened his Twitter attacks on leading black figures Monday to include the Rev. Al Sharpton, as conservative African American pastors defended him from claims that he's racist following a meeting with him.

Why it matters: Trump has faced growing accusations of racism for targeting lawmakers of color and repeatedly lashing out at Rep. Elijah Cummings on Twitter and the majority-black Baltimore-area district he represents, notably calling it "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."

Details: Coalition of African American Pastors president Bill Owens said about 20 people attended the closed-door meeting with the president, according to a public pool report.

  • ABC News reports that while Alveda King, a niece of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., walked away without answering a question about whether Trump is racist, Owens said, "I find that hard to believe, considering the things he’s done for the black community. Positive things for the black community."

The big picture: Before the meeting, Trump lashed out at Sharpton, and he continued his Twitter attacks on Cummings and the 4 congresswomen of color he targeted in his now-infamous "go back" tweets — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — known as "the squad."

If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left "Squad" and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020. The good news for the Dems is that they have the Fake News Media in their pocket!
— Trump tweet

What he's saying: Sharpton tweeted, "Trump says I’m a troublemaker & con man. I do make trouble for bigots. If he really thought I was a con man he would want me in his cabinet."

  • He later told MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" that Trump has "decided he's going to have a race-based campaign by going after high-profile blacks."

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National Cathedral: Trump's tweets give cover to white supremacists

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Washington National Cathedral's leaders said Tuesday that President Trump uses "dangerous" and "violent dehumanizing words" to attack minority lawmakers and the city of Baltimore — warning that "violent words lead to violent actions."

"[T]hey are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human 'infestation' in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation."
— Statement by Washington National Cathedral leaders
Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019

2020 Democratic candidates denounce Trump for racism ahead of debates

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

As Democrats prepare for a second round of presidential primary debates in Detroit starting Tuesday night, one issue is dominating the political discourse: President Trump and racism.

Why it matters: Aides told Axios' Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen following Trump's "go back" tweets attacking 4 congresswomen of color that race-baiting is central to his 2020 strategy. He has since expanded targets to include Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling the majority-black Baltimore-area district he represents "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess," and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Nikki Haley calls Trump's tweet about Elijah Cummings robbery "so unnecessary"

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called President Trump's Friday tweet referencing a robbery at House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings' Baltimore home "so unnecessary" in a Twitter response.

Why it matters: Haley is the rare top former Trump administration official who left both on her own terms and in the president's good graces. Additionally, because she is often viewed as a potential GOP presidential contender in the future, her decision to directly respond to Trump — complete with an eye roll emoji —  is significant in a party that often chooses not to do so.

Go deeperArrowAug 2, 2019